This episode is another REPRISE during the pandemic to give me a chance to be with my emotions while still provide something helpful to coaches. Bless my foggy brain. I need a break, ya’ll!
So you’re going to love this if you haven’t already heard it. And if you have already heard it consider listening again.
And, I double dog dare you to choose just one of these archetypes as your primary archetype and not just say “Oh, I can relate to all them.” In my experience, one rises to the surface like cream.
So this is a creative exploration of how personality can affect your choice of coaching niche.
When I work with coaches to help them determine their niche, I ask a lot of questions to uncover clues that, when strung together, point us to natural possibilities for them.
I’ve been playing with this idea for years — that coaches often have a natural inclination, which influences how they will build and grow their business. And that can influence what type of audience and niche will fit them best.
This is not usually a conscious choice, but rather a subconscious leaning. I’ve decided to call these archetypes.
I began to witness 5 major patterns in the way a coach will grow their business. So, in this episode I’ll explain those 5 major archetypes and how they emerge to influence the direction of a coaching business.
One of them might be a clue for you.
A few caveats here …
- Not every coach will have one clear archetype.
- You might not relate to any of these archetypes. After all, they come out of my experience only.
- And for some people this archetype isn’t yet awakened until they launch their business and something blooms within them.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I had no idea when I decided to become a coach that 3 years later I’d be developing my own curriculum and teaching others how to coach. I didn’t know that I’d launch a new and specific business 12 years ago to help coaches choose a smart niche and launch with confidence.
I didn’t intend any of that.
Meet the TEACHER ARCHETYPE
If you fit the Teacher Archetype then you have a strong leaning towards teaching.
And it’s born out of your own ideas, not someone else’s.
That’s a key distinction.
It might happen like this …
You struggle mightily with something — in my case it was trying to figure out what my own coaching niche is — and your sense of determination kicks in full force.
You decide that you’re going to study this problem from all sides.
It becomes a bit of an obsession.
You fall on your face a few times but it doesn’t matter because you’re like a dog after a bone. You’re going to figure this out.
And this DRIVE TO SOLVE is a big part of the teacher archetype.
At first, you’re not thinking about helping others with this problem. You simply want to
solve it for yourself.
But at some point, when your ideas start to have a positive affect on you … you realize that you’re not the only one with this very difficult challenge.
And you begin to look at things from a meta-level. While transforming yourself you’re also continuing to study the problem and develop a system or a model.
And maybe, unbeknownst to you, you have a gift for breaking complex things down into steps. And so you write them down.
It’s often the way you respond to challenges.
Over time you perfect the system. And then you realize this could help others. So you create a program, you write the workbook, you put it online or gather together people who have the same problem as you. You walk them through the actions that will solve their problem.
That’s the teacher archetype.
1. It starts with a personal journey of transformation around a key problem.
2. From sheer grit and your own experiential study, YOU create the solution.
3. Then you offer it to others.
Often, but not always, the services you offer will be B to B. Business to Business.
Another example of this Archetype is Tami Stacklehouse of the Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute.
Tami’s struggle with her own fibromyalgia turned into a coaching business serving others with fibromyalgia and quickly became an institute where she trains other coaches, who had fibromyalgia, in her system to help others take back control of their lives.
See how specific and narrow this is? But, Tami has made this into a very successful business that is able to help many more people than she can coach by herself.
Later this month I’ll be interviewing Tami and hope to share her story on this podcast.
You can see how your coaching business model would be affected by knowing or discovering that study, teaching and solving is your natural drive.
Can you relate to this? You might fit this Teacher Archetype.
If so, your niche will be very specific, fit one narrow audience who shares the problem you had. And you will create the solution, from your own unique perspective but not by learning it from someone else.
Meet the HEALER ARCHETYPE
Similar to the Teacher Archetype, the Healer Archetype is born out of a personal challenge.
If this fits you, you’ve experienced something deeply personal and possibly traumatic —in your youth or adulthood.
I know, it seems like we all could fit this archetype, but not everyone has the inclination to heal themselves or others.
Healing yourself through various means, you have a natural inclination to help others who have felt the same source of pain that has created difficulties in adulthood.
The way the Healer Archetype is different from the Teacher Archetype is that the personal transformation doesn’t necessarily become a mentally driven study that results in a desire to teach.
Instead it’s more of a heart based desire to hold space for another person as they work with the fallout of their trauma towards a more whole and healthy existence.
As coaching is not the same thing as therapy, a coaching business built around this type of transformation requires additional training to be ethical.
I had the pleasure recently of interviewing, Jennifer Davoust, who has a popular meditation podcast called Tune Into You. I highly recommend that you subscribe.
I’ll have the link to her page and anyone else I mention on this episode’s show notes at prosperouscoach.com/12.
Jennifer experienced a traumatic childhood. Then she transformed her life from what she defined as directionless and worthlessness to confidence, courage and a life that lights her up.
You can read her story on her website.
Now, as a Self Love specialist, combining coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy, she’s supporting others who want to learn to love themselves. Sometimes they are struggling with low self esteem, perfectionism, self judgment and anxiety.
Her podcast is how people find her. And, if you listen to her podcast you’ll hear how she uses her buttery voice and hypnotherapy to soothe us all.
This type of support in the Healer Archetype is usually directed at individuals rather than entrepreneurs or companies. It’s B to C, Business to Consumer, rather than B to B.
Another example of the Healer Archetype is Julie Cluff of Build a Life After Loss. http://www.buildalifeafterloss.com/
Julie lost two children in an accident. Her reality shifted to one of just coping. But 3 years in, she realized that she could honor her children and also live a purposeful, joy filled life.
Now Julie helps women who have lost children to build a life of purpose and joy. She’s trained in Grief Coaching.
Meet the PURE COACH ARCHETYPE
This is someone who loves coaching in it’s purest forms. These coaches are most likely to call themselves Life Coaches or something similar.
They tend to crave learning and often fall in love with the tenets of a coaching model or a system that someone else has created. For example — a Tony Robbins coach or a John Maxwell coach.
Some of these coaches don’t want to run a business of their own and so may find coaching firms to represent them or be hired by a corporation to coach for internally. Many leadership and corporate coaches fit this archetype.
But others in this archetype will create their own business and the way they serve will be largely guided by that coaching model they love so much.
I recently did an On Air Coaching session with Marshall Stern. I’m guessing that Marshall fits this Pure Coach Archetype.
You can hear that session where Marshall & I work on firming up his target audience in Episode 11 of Prosperous Coach Podcast.
Meet the ICON ARCHETYPE
This fits a person for whom coaching is only a small part of a much larger, and often more grand, business model. In fact, the individual might not even be a trained coach but has natural coaching and motivational skills.
Think Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo and Danielle Laporte.
These people have a big personality and a strong desire to be a publicly recognized figure. Someone might discover them, recognize their star factor and back a venture where they are the face, voice and personality of the company.
These people are likely to write books, speak on big stages, get TV interviews or other high profile media appearances.
Some coaches may end up in the Icon Archetype only after starting from one of the other archetypes.
Have you heard of Ali Brown? She’s been on ABC’s Secret Millionaire and several other TV channels. She was once named “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily.
She puts on large, well known events. For many years, it was called SHINE. Her latest event is called ICONIC Content and I.P. Retreat for entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
Interesting that it’s called ICONIC, eh?
But what most people don’t know is how Ali started. I met her back when she took the coach training, that I co-authored, at Coach Training Alliance.
Close after that, she did a very smart thing. She wrote an ebook to help entrepreneurs create an ezine (what is now called a blog). She was first to the market offering a very affordable step by step how-to.
Do you recognize the Teacher Archetype?
Now and for the last 15 years she’s been the glamorous star of her own empire.
If you have aspirations to be a big name and own the big stage, you might fit the Icon Archetype.
Meet the CEO ARCHETYPE
This last archetype is one I’m just testing out because I haven’t had personal experiences with coaches who fit this. But I knew an option was missing in the pantheon of coach archetypes.
Similar to the Icon Archetype, this person has big dreams and goals that might look like this …
They become a professional coach then build a firm with a stable of other coaches who all serve a particular industry.
Or, they build a multi-employee company that isn’t necessarily centered on coaching as the service but incorporates coaching principles or models into a larger idea.
I’d love to hear if this episode sparks an idea for you about the direction of your niche or coaching company. Or, if you have a theory about an altogether different Coach Archetype, email me at rhonda @ prosperouscoach.com